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tv   Morning Joe  MSNBC  December 16, 2011 3:00am-6:00am PST

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i'm home recovering. in the hospital they woke me up at this time, and i guess i'm used to it. >> speedy recovery. that's a new demo for us. people who have people who have had kidney transplants woken up by their doctors. she's asked me not to say anything, so i won't embarrass her. i won't say we will miss elaine walker, we love elaine, and i won't say when you have a staff of three it hurts to lose one of them. >> thank you. >> thank you, elaine, we love you. "morning joe" starts right now. . many republicans seem conflicted about you. they say that you're smart, that you're a big thinker. at the same time, many of those same republicans worried deeply about your electability in a general election. >> speaker had a conservative revolution against him when he was the speaker of the house. >> he has a different definition of a progress sector than i do.
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because it's a gsc, government sponsored enterprise. it's a government agency, they get the money and get mixed up. >> he would not only support, but he would campaign for republicans who are in support of the barbaric procedure known as partial birth abortion. george will asked the question of speaker gingrich. he said this, he said is it a virtue to tolerate in fantasied? this is a seminal issue. it's something that we can't get wrong. >> all right. top of the hour. welcome to "morning joe." it is friday, december 16th. with us onset, we have the chairman of deutsch incorporated, donny deutsch, being very nice today. >> what a great guy. >> great american. >> yes. >> humble, soft spoken. >> he's the director of the earth institute at columbia university, economist dr.
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jeffrey sachs is with us, as well. and former chairman of the republican national committee michael steele. michael, very good to have you back. >> look who's back onset. it's about time, willie. >> we missed you. >> everything's good out west, primary's going to go off without a hitch. >> good. good. willie worked early on the california primary. >> june the 5th. >> june the 5th, and i had no idea that the epicenter of california politics was in santa monica in a bungalow in santa monica apparently involving lots of alcohol -- >> i was talking to lots of operatives. >> and late night strategy. >> newt got hammered last night. >> he did. >> he recovered. >> then it spread out, but there was a little bit. it was interesting. >> what was interesting about it? i found it just an overall blur last night other than a great
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tim tebow reference. it just blurred. the whole thing blurred. >> we need to just go ahead. >> just cut to the chase. >> literally -- >> no, we've got to do it. >> do it. go first. go first. >> this is rick perry. >> take it. >> by the way, rick perry now who set the bar so low, right? i was looking at some of the commentary afterwards, that if he does not bleed like from his ears by the end of the debate, it's considered a great victory for him. right? so this is rick perry last night talking about the great -- >> i'm getting to where i like these debates. i hope obama and i debate a lot and i'll get there early and we will get it on and we will talk about our differences, which are great. i'll talk about what we've done in the state of texas, i'll talk about passing a balanced budget amendment to the united states congress. i'll talk about having a -- the type of part-time congress that
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i think americans are ready for. and you know, there are a lot of people out there. i understand it, there are a lot of folks that said tim tebow wasn't going to be a good nfl quarterback. there were people who stood up and said he doesn't have the right throwing mechanisms or he's not playing the game right. and you know, he won two national championships and that looked pretty good. we were the national champions in job creation back in texas. and so, am i ready for the next level? let me tell you, i hope i am the tim tebow of the iowa caucuses. >> you know what's interesting -- >> the oxford debating society would call that halting sassy. even when he's sassy, he's halting. >> i thought newt was going to compare himself to chad ochocinco. >> it was canned, but it was still tortured. >> if he would've said i'm the tim tebow of iowa, they would have clapped.
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>> poor guy. poor guy. i do feel bad for him. >> the best part of that for me, guys. was the look at the end there that mitt romney had standing there looking, had this look like where is he going with this? what is this man talking about? why is he still on this stage? you know, it was one of those moments that for me that was encapsula encapsulated. >> you may get a call from tim tebow's lawyers about trademark. newt gingrich came under attack for most of the night with nearly every one of his opponents offering criticism. the former speaker's electability, values, and record in washington all came into question. michele bachmann led the charge focusing on gingrich's dealings with mortgage giant freddie mac. >> we know that he cash paychecks from freddie mac. that's the best evidence that you can have. over $1.6 million. and frankly, i am shocked listening to the former speaker of the house because he's defending the continuing
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practice of freddie mac and fannie mae. i was trying to see these two entities put into bankruptcy because they frankly need to go away when the speaker had his hand out and he was taking $1.6 million to influence senior republicans to keep the scam going in washington, d.c. that's absolutely wrong. >> you know, it is. it is surprising to me watching these debates. and let me ask you as former chairman of the rnc, michael steele, if it's surprising to you that while newt gingrich, we've heard his agile on his feet. in two areas, he continues to give pained responses. and last night was particularly painful -- >> yeah. >> when he tried to defend what he did with freddie mac. even freddie mac says it was clearly designed, they gave him money so he'd influence republicans on the hill. number one. and then number two, his continued failure to be able to
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explain away his support for an individual mandate. in those two areas, he's not articulate. he can't -- he can't seem to swat those issues away. >> yeah, you're right there, joe. and i thought it was probably the weakest first hour for him in all of the debates that he's had. that really zeroed in very clearly. and it was obvious he was uncomfortable with it. it was obvious he was trying to connect dots that weren't coming that close together. and i thought bachmann really scored some good punches there. >> you know -- did you notice something, too, michael, about bachmann. i think bachmann's getting tired of it. newt gingrich when he attacks michele bachmann sort of speaks in a different tone and is far more condescending to michele bachmann than he is to the men on the stage. and she is starting -- she's actually starting to push back on the fact. it's something we noticed a couple of debates ago. but i think michele bachmann's
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about had enough of him being condescending to her. >> i think it's the irritation that really came through there at several key moments where, you know, they were going back and forth and she just took the stance. look, i am a serious contender for this office just like you are. and the only thing i could write was, you go girl. i tweeted that out. she was just -- she hit it in a way that made it very clear. you're not going to get away with pushing back on me to make me look less than capable or less than worthy to being on the stage. and again, i think that was one of those moments where bachmann showed she's in this fight. iowa's her waterloo in many respects. she's got to make a strong stand, she's got to come out of there stronger than she has been. and i thought last night she did herself a great service. >> she did. i thought she did very well. and i think she scored a lot of points by basically saying newt was being condescending to her as a woman. i want to talk about the gses, though.
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because gingrich did fumble around the fact that when -- actually at the time that was most critical -- when the bubble was about to explode, that's when newt was getting money, and he can't seem, jeffrey, to be able to explain that away. >> how can he? it's pure influence peddling, and it's pure insider dealing, and it's purely what americans are disgusted about. and he can't walk away from it. so there's no glibness that's going to allow him to back away from the record. michele bachmann completely nailed it. she had it completely right. and we know that fannie mae and freddie mac were a disaster because they were in this limbo land where they were taking huge risks on implicit taxpayer guarantee which ended up being invoked. in other words, they were behaving recklessly knowing they would be bailed out in the end, and there was newt making a lot of money, using his insider
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status both to enrich himself, but as we see so often in our politics, right now to wreck the policies for the rest of america. >> yeah. >> he can't walk away from that. >> and, mika, he -- even the freddie mac people are saying his job was to influence republicans on the hill. >> we all -- >> because there was a concern at this time that republicans were going to shut down freddie and fannie. it had been a scandal ridden agency. they looked at great suspicion at people like barack obama and chris dodd who got paid a lot of money by -- who got -- had a lot of money contributed to them. they just had no idea that newt was actually pocketing his money. >> well, and the answer is always incredibly if i may arrogant and tone deaf. i mean his answer last night was that he was a national figure. and, you know, he was receiving payment for -- >> what does that --
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>> that just underlines the point that he is the greatest example of the revolving door politics in washington, d.c. where somebody works for the government and then they make money off of the government. >> so here we are again -- >> peddling influence. >> almost an entire, you know, chunk of a debate talking about something that newt did in the past that is questionable potentially hypocritical at most in some eyes arrogant. and what's wrong with washington, instead of looking at a candidate and looking at their experience and what they could do moving forward. all we've done is look back on the paths of some of these very weak candidates. >> and willie, republicans -- i've heard some republicans say over the past couple of days, do we really want to spend -- and bill bennett said it yesterday, do we want to spend next summer explaining away newt every day? what he said yesterday at a press conference, what he wrote in an op-ed three days ago?
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i think that is -- even for people that like newt and say, okay, he's a little out there on some of these things, but for the most part, he's conservative, there's just a lot of people saying i don't want to spend my summer when we should be going after barack obama explaining away newt's latest gaffe. >> and forget what he said yesterday or the week before, last night they were talking about what he did in 1994, 1995, it goes back to the past with newt gingrich. rick santorum had one of the best lines when they were talking about whether or not newt gingrich was a conservative. he said when he was speaker of the house, there was a conservative revolution led against him. >> and i was in the room with, you know, there were just a handful of us, 10, 11 of us. and there was nobody like, you know, newt was calling us jihadists back then, the perf t perfectionist caucus. we said we're going to balance it in seven years, that we've
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got to push newt. and time and time again newt backed away from it. and so for newt last night, last night, to call us "purists" who got nothing done. michael steele, it is a matter of history that were it not for purists like steve largent, tom coburn, j.v. watts, myself, steve shabbat, there were 10 or 11 of us, we wouldn't have got there. we pushed him overboard because he was dealing with dave more than steve largent. >> the only thing i could say to myself is joe just took another drink on that one. >> no, but -- can you believe that? like even last night. even last night, michael, he's talking about they were purists
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who couldn't get anything done. i'm sorry, newt wanted to back down on tax cuts. what he'd called a week before the crown jewel of the contract with america. and we went to him and said, you're not going to get rid of the tax cuts. in you try, we're going to get rid of you. and guess what? we got the tax cuts. >> you did. >> we got the balanced budget. we get all the things that newt at the end didn't want to fight for. we had to push him out there to do it. you can talk to tom coburn or steve largent or mark sanford or any of these people. this is an important point. >> no, it is, joe. >> when push came to shove, newt always wanted to back down. >> but i want to make two quick points on that. and one is a parallel point to today. what you've just described about the conservative revolution within the conservative revolution we've seen also with the current speaker. and the 87 plus new members, tea
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party members in the house who have pushed the leadership to get outside of its comfort zone, to get outside of the washington way of doing it the old way and staying true to those core small government principles you've articulated. and the second point, which i want to go back to the broader question about next year, the reality is this, regardless of who the nominee is on that stage last night, we're going to be talking about their past because that's what people want to talk about. whether it's rick santorum, michele bachmann, you're going to find those within the party -- before we get outside the party, who are going to dredge up this noise about their past as opposed to making the point that mika just made. let's talk about what you're going to do to move the country forward and how do you legitimately contrast yourself with barack obama. >> and michael, some of these candidates who are doing far lesser in the polls do have careers and pasts that could be extremely productive to the future of this -- >> can i just say one thing? and i know the point that you
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all are making, but past is prologue. >> yes. >> and so what newt gingrich did before and what mitt romney did before and what others did before will tell you what they're going to do in the future. and, you know, yes, i understand, john boehner faces some of the same challenges, but john boehner's not passing himself off as, you know, this -- he's saying i'm trying to get things done here. >> let me jump in. >> sure. >> the only way to judge people is the past. when i'm hiring somebody, i get references. what i find fascinating is that almost to a person, anybody that has worked with newt closely say stay away and people are afraid to look at the references. it's just like people are blind -- i've never -- it's so stunning that the closer people were to newt, the more they go -- that's called a reference. >> and the people when we were in the meetings, i was talking
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to dan senor off set yesterday. i said what happened to the guys who were glaring at us the conservatives when we were going after newt, why am i not hearing them defending newt? and he said, to a person, i've talked to, they're not supporting him. >> this isn't ancient history we're talking about. this is a style of washington behavior that people are disgusted with. and i think it makes him completely an untenable candidate. >> we've been there. >> i mean, when you see it on the stage that way with everybody pointing that out, i think it's pretty telling. >> i don't really get it. nicky haley, by the way, endorsed mitt romney. >> mitt romney in south carolina, that's seen as a big endorsement. >> it is. >> her polls are kind of low, but not below freezing. >> no. >> rick scott's in florida are below freezing. >> and one final note. >> no, freezing's 32.
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>> it's getting close, though, in south carolina. >> yeah. this is what erick erickson's take is. i think one of the best answers of the night came from jon huntsman. he was asked not about not signing the taxpayer pledge and his answer was basically i'm not playing your game. it's refreshing to see a candidate who really doesn't seem to give a darn about the way others expect him to play the game. truth be told, we really do put candidates through a dog and pony show and huntsman seems to not suffer the fools who want him to go through the dog and pony show. >> before we go, one quick thing, if people are worried -- i love huntsman, by the way. if people are worried about newt -- >> boy, that'll help him. >> you know what? look at every -- >> seven-second delay. seven-second delay. >> politics are. no matter whether you're a reagan person, a bush person, a clinton person, we've always elected to what i believe to the core are good guys. this guy's a bad guy, newt gingrich. >> who is? >> newt gingrich.
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>> mark haleprin tells us he's a good father -- >> if you look at the way you judge people. there's so many things, the meanness. by the way, with everything you've read and heard, would you describe him -- just you, as a good guy? seems like a bad guy. >> i'm able to separate things out here. i don't know him personally. i've got references. his daughter says he is a good father. through all the chaos, he's kept the family together. i hear others say he's a good grandfather. so is newt a good person? you can talk to others. and i know people are saying you could talk to his ex-wives, they'll tell you something different, but i'm not going to judge what kind of person he is. but i can judge what type of political figure he's been. and i don't think it's a positive one. michael? you wanted to get in. >> yeah, i just disagree with donny's assessment there. i think the total package, we evaluate every aspect of a person's life.
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and i think newt, knowing him personally and seeing him work, he brings a lot to the table. yes, he's got a lot of baggage, but he makes an articulate debate for us next year and the voters will ultimately decide whether or not he's the ultimate guy, but i think in terms of whether he's a good guy, or not, he's a good guy for what we need right now, i think. >> jeffrey sachs really quickly because donny's already complimented jon huntsman. would you like to finish off his campaign by telling america how much you love him, as well? >> well, let's take a look at him. there we go. right over the cliff. >> we talked 20 minutes, haven't mentioned mitt romney. he didn't take the bait on the attack. >> had a good night. >> he talked about president obama and not the other candidates. >> and i was thinking about this, seriously 12 minutes through, mika. i was thinking mitt had a really, really good night, but there's something about newt -- and this is what makes him the political figure that he's been, he takes up all the oxygen in
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the room. we did not want to talk about newt for 20 minutes, but once you get started, it just -- >> it's like snooki, you watch "jersey shore" and you get drawn to snooki. >> that compares him. we do talk about the other candidates, michele bachmann, good debate, mitt romney, really good debate, and ron paul last night, i'll tell you, he really scared me on iran. he really scared me on iran. listen, it's one thing -- i love him saying it's time to bring the troops home in afghanistan and iraq and to cut our defense budget. i agree with all of that, you can't just look at iran and say, oh, it's the same as iraq, don't worry about it. it's a little more complicated. coming up, the co-founder of the huffington post, arianna huffington, thomas friedman, moderator of "meet the press," david gregory, and buddy roemer. and the lead singer for
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wilco went on a local news station to forecast the weather and proves to the world just how easy it is to be a weather man, bill. >> you're not going to get any arguments here. >> all right. tell us what's going to happen. >> got the easiest gig around. good morning, everyone. let's get to the weekend forecast. especially when you have weekends like this, i still get paid regardless of any huge storms or not. and there's none on the maps. we're watching temperatures falling in new england. it's a windy morning. very warm now, the temperatures will drop. winds gusting up to 40, to 30 miles per hour. so one of those mornings where the leaves will be blowing around. you get pushed around on the roads a little bit. temperatures this afternoon in the 40s. not going to be too bad, but breezy out there. rainy weather through the southeast, louisiana, mississippi, into tennessee, that'll be exiting into areas of the carolinas this afternoon. so a little bit of light rain in the southeast is probably the worst of it. may have some airport delays with the gusty winds in the northeast. and taking you through your weekend forecast, there's no
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snowstorms on the way. temperatures are pretty much near average if not above average. saturday and sunday. so the good news here is that for all of your holiday errands, you can get those done with no problems whatsoever. the bad news is, if you're hoping for a white christmas, not looking like it's going to happen for many of us. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. everyone have their new blackberry from at&t? it's 4g, so you can do more faster. so, kathryn, post more youtube videos of your baby acting adorable. baby. on it. matt, ignore me and keep updating your fantasy team. huh? jeff, play a game. turbo-boosting now, sir. dennis, check in everywhere you go on foursquare. that's mayor dennis... of the water cooler. you're the best. liz, rock out to pandora. oh, no i'm an only child. and nick, you shouldn't even be here, you can do everything from the golf course. good? good. [ male announcer ] on at&t, blackberry® torch moves at the speed of 4g. ♪
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26 past the hour. time now to take a look at the morning papers. >> really quick question. >> yes, you may. >> is vertigo not one of u2's best? >> not the best -- >> top five. >> maybe top three. >> i would say top three, top two, yes. it's a great one. >> what do you put at number one? >> for me, you know, for me i've got to say "new year's day."
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that was really where i was first introduced. >> we can disagree on that. >> yeah. >> i'm sticking with "saturday night fever." >> as far as albums go, yeah, "war," my favorite. nearly half of americans have fallen into poverty. >> it's incredible. >> the numbers point to a shrinking middle class squeezed by rising living costs, about 97.3 million americans fall into a low income category, roughly $45,000 a year for a family of four. and turning now to our parade of papers. wisconsin state journal newly released record show that governor scott walker collected $5.1 million since july, that's three times the cash that his opponents have raised in their effort to recall the embattled governor. and a preview of this weekend's cover "parade" look back at 2011.
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to best tweets. >> worst dictators, does that mean there's a best dictator? >> you know, willie, all that you can't leave behind is an amazing -- >> we're going to go singles? >> no, as far as singles go, all right, we'll figure it out. >> should we go to politico now? >> this is a great album. but -- it's great. we'll do a list. >> end of the year list. >> end of the year list. greatest two songs. >> maybe by the end of the hour. >> that would be awesome. >> let's go to "politico" and mike allen with a look at the playbook. good morning. >> happy friday. >> happy friday. >> there it is. we were just talking about michele bachmann in our last segment. she played an important role last night keeping everybody in check. going after ron paul for his suggestion that there is no evidence, he says, iran is close to building a nuclear we. weapon. watch this. >> the danger is really us over
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reacting. and we need a strong national defense and we need to only go to war with a declaration of war and just carelessly flouting it and starting these wars so often. >> speaker gingrich -- >> can i respond to that? can i respond? and the problem would be the greatest underreaction in world history if we have an avowed madman who uses that nuclear weapon to wipe nations off the face of the earth and we have an iaea report that just came out that said literally iran is within just months of being able to obtain that weapon. nothing could be more dangerous than the comments that we just heard. >> all right. 30 seconds. >> no u.n. report that said that, it's totally wrong on what you just said. >> the iaea report. >> that is not true. they produced information that led you to believe that, but they have no evidence, there's no -- there's been no enrichment of these bombs -- >> if we agree with that, the united states people could be at
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risk for our national security. >> i'd like to finish. you're trying to dramatize this that we have to go and treat iran like we've treated iraq and kill a million iraqis and 8,000 some americans have died since we've gone to war. you cannot solve these problems with war. >> michele bachmann very strong with ron paul also with newt gingrich calling him out for his career in washington. >> yeah, this is why no matter how well ron paul, congressman paul, he likes to be called dr. paul, no matter how well he does in iowa, and he could win, there will always be an asterisk next to his name. he's not going to win because of remarks like this. he also said that iran was acting in self-defense. excuse me, it's the least wise remark he's made since remember in the reagan library debate when he said we should save money by turning off the air-conditioning for our troops in war zones. it's fine to be dovish, and he's
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gotten a lot of attention and following from that, and until now, the other people on the stage have sort of ignored him or used him as a cheap punch line. but remarks like this are going to provoke a strong response, and he hurt himself with republican voters with these comments. >> no doubt about it. i obviously -- i -- you know, willie, i'm a conservative when it comes to foreign policy, as conservative used to be defined. as we defined in the 1990s on the armed services committee. but willie, this is so overboard. at one point he sounds like he's an apologist on the iranian weapons. for a guy that's always admired ron paul and agreed with him on a lot of economic policy and liked the general tone of his foreign policy pronouncements, this is just -- jeffrey sachs, wouldn't you agree, he's over the top. >> he's been right on afghanistan and iraq, but he was
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wrong yesterday to deny any issue and any risk. there's something real there, of course. >> mike allen, other big take away from last night, what was yours? >> mitt romney still is not dominating the stage as a president -- politico's john harris was out there and felt like this 13th debate that you're not having the usual -- usually you have a couple of front-runners have a little kick like a cross country runner. we're not seeing that. the most important line of the night, i think, was mitt romney practicing, the answer he'll use if he gets to this fall against president obama. talks about how he explains bain capital and some of their layoffs. and he said in the real world where the president has never lived. and that we're going to hear a lot. he talked about all businesses do not succeed. some businesses fail. and he turned the knife by saying the president's going to talk about how he saved gm and the auto industry. and to do that, he closed some factories, closed some dealerships. >> yeah, that's his comeback.
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>> i don't think the bain capital thing sticks at all. >> it doesn't stick. we were at a lunch yesterday, again, with democrats, ceos. it's hard to go to a lunch in manhattan where you're not surrounded by democrats at the table. but these ceos. one of them told me that 20 of the top ceos in new york, 18 of 20, they meet once a year and supported barack obama. 18 of 20 in 2008. he said not a single one around the table were going to be supporting him. now, they weren't newt fans, they weren't mitt fans, but they knew they definitely weren't going to support barack obama, these democrats, because he just doesn't understand what mitt romney said, whether it's true or not, the ceos believe it, the real world. the small business owners believe it. and -- >> i hear the same exact thing almost across the board. >> where are they going? if they're not supporting obama,
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don't like gingrich. >> they're begrudgingly going to romney. or there'll be a white knight -- but that's where they'll go right now. >> thank you, mike. >> happy weekend. >> by the way, mitt romney will join us live here onset on monday. should be a great interview. and in a few moments, julia reid reed is here. >> it's meacham that said terrible things about him. >> we'll be right back. all energy development comes with some risk, but proven technologies allow natal gas producers to supply affordable, cleaner energy, while protecting our environment. across america, these technologies protect air - by monitoring air quality and reducing emissions... ...protect water - through conservation and self-contained recycling systems... ... and protect land - by reducing our footprint and respecting wildlife. america's natural gas... domestic, abundant, clean energy to power our lives... that's smarter power today.
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all right. >> let's do a little sports. thursday night football, joe. your atlanta falcons looking to tighten their grip on the nfc spot. matt ryan, julio jones across the middle. >> that's right, baby. >> turns on the jets. 29 yards for the touchdown, 7-0 there, they don't look back. third quarter, sacked by john abraham, and look at the big fella, corey peters, a scoop and score, kind of staggers into the end zone. he got there. falcons win 41-14, atlanta now 9-5 on top of the wild card race. lions behind them, bears and cowboys still in the hunt. did you hear about this story? chicago bears receiver sam hurd in police custody right now after being arrested with a kilogram of cocaine.
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that's a lot. >> who's counting? >> prosecutors say that's only a fraction of what he wanted to buy as part of a major drug distribution network. the 26-year-old arrested yesterday by undercover agents during a sting operation at a chicago restaurant. federal prosecutors say hurd told an informant he was willing to spend $700,000 per week on up to 10 kilograms of cocaine and 1,000 pounds of marijuana. >> willie, i'm not into drug trafficking as a rule. is that a lot? >> these are big numbers. >> that would be $35,000 a year. >> he said his current supplier couldn't keep up with his customers' demand. under investigation since july when cops stopped a man driving a car owned by hurd. he's now due back in texas where he could face 40 years in prison if he was convicted. the bears put out a statement saying we are aware of sam's arrest, continuing to gather details.
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we are disappointed whenever these circumstances arise. >> when do these circumstances arise? >> that was my question. >> i've never known these circumstances. >> have they risen before where your player spends $700,000 a week on coke? >> $35,000 a year. >> exactly. and by the way, they say there may be other nfl players involved. >> you're kidding? >> yeah. stay tuned to this one. coming up next, author columnist julia reed joins us for mika's must-read opinion pages.
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welcome back to "morning joe." with us now is author and columnist, and may i say a punching bag for pulitzer prize
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winners. and i must say i was deeply hurt yesterday morning when jon meacham went after you again. why does -- why does jon hate when it's so much easier to love, julia? you've known him for a while. what's wrong with him? >> he takes it personally when i'm late with my copy. but he's freed of that now because he doesn't have that pesky job at "newsweek" anymore. >> no doubt about it. what do you think about this presidential field? newt's a product, mostly, of georgia. do you claim him? >> no. we don't claim georgia where i'm from. >> okay. >> georgia gave us jimmy carter don't forget. no, i mean -- aren't you already over this? we're sitting here watching ron paul melt down and we're talking about newt. you know, and okay, newt's zany, ron is k -- michele bachmann is
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starting to look like a statesman. i watch those debates and say, what we do claim in my home state of mississippi is haley barbour, i sit there in tears going, where's mitch daniels? >> where's jeb bush, where's paul ryan, where are these conservatives -- >> smart guys. >> yeah, that don't insult your intelligence. i'm glad you said that, because i turned off the tv last night and i rarely get down about the state of american politics. i'm an optimistic guy. i'm serious. i'm an optimistic guy. but after last night's debate, i just -- i turned off the tv and i was like is that it? >> i know, it's like the peggy lee song. "is that all there is?" people aren't committing to anybody yet because they keep thinking somebody's going to ride in, haley's going to come
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in on a horse, somebody. >> there are no haley barbours or jeb bushes, or paul ryans, or mitch daniels. >> i want to ask you a question -- >> why don't you direct it to michael steele. >> michael, i don't mean this glibly. >> of course not. >> i don't. why is it -- explain to me from the political landscape, to a behavioral model, and please don't defend any of these candidates, why a strong, competent human being out of a country of 300 million people can't be there? i don't understand it. just explain -- >> could we ask the same about who the democrats gave us four years ago? >> but at least there's a difference -- >> no, is that really as good as it gets? a guy who doesn't know how to run -- >> at the time, you went wow, here is a special guy. >> did we really? >> yes. >> well, then you were -- >> come on. >> by the way, at least you said if nothing else, that's an
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impressive human being. >> no, no. if you thought that he was going to be prepared to be president of the united states, your ideology -- let me finish, because we always hear this as republicans around this table and we talk about it nonstop about how the republicans are disconnected from reality. you'll -- you suspend your belief. >> i'm going to tell you what i believe, and i was wrong. i believe that the way he was going to get this country to feel. if he made the right four to six -- >> feel. you lost me. >> i was going to say, donny -- >> guys, let me finish. if he had the right -- >> the fact that you used -- >> guys, guys -- i'm being serious. it's an overall feeling. >> okay. >> i'm talking to a bunch of philistines here.
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i'm talking high-brow stuff here. >> i mean -- >> if you don't know what gastault is. >> we know what it is, long island boy. >> let's go to michael steele and then to julia. >> i think that the key thing here is -- >> i'm saying this with gistault. >> can i have mustard with my gistault. >> it's up there with milieu. whatever. the reality of it is -- >> where are we? >> i don't know, donny, that's too strange. the fact of the matter -- i know this is all this pining and longing for daniels and jeb and haley barbour, but let me tell you this, in this environment, if any of those gentlemen had gotten into this race, chris christie included, they would have been eaten alive. they would have been torn apart, they would have been dissected. conservatism -- don't tell me no way. i could tell you for a fact they would have been dissected.
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their conservatism would have been questioned. i'm just telling you. that's the environment we're in. it's not so much speaking to this field as a whole, it's going to your point, joe, about the state of american politics where that's the first thing we do. now, note, the fact of the matter is newt's been in this race just like all of the others from the very beginning. you don't have the conversation and the digging into what he was and who he is until he reached that pinnacle point. and that's the point that drive people nuts. if you're that concerned about newt gingrich, you talk about it from day one, don't wait until he gets in the game and then destroy the opportunity to have him move forward. >> julia -- >> you've got a boy crush on newt, i think you do. >> that creeped me out. >> mitch daniels would be doing great, i think haley -- >> well, none of them bring the baggage that newt has. >> i agree. >> now, talk about newt. you said he's competent. he is, very competent guy.
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you look at what he did in 2002, salt lake city, some of us think what he did to bain capital was good. he created staples and other pretty darn good companies. but he also in 2002 was saying he was a progressive. conservatives can't figure out how to love this guy. it's out of "jesus christ superstar," i don't know how to love him. >> i mean, don't you -- i think in the end that's the only game in town. people have to come around to him. he's already making progress. you mentioned the nikki haley endorsement. southerners are going to come around to this guy, don't you think? >> they're not going to have a choice. >> there's no newt, we're joking around. >> the thing is -- >> yeah, but, joe. >> i heard this four years ago that mitt romney couldn't win among evangelicals, and that's everybody said it's so much they
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started believing it. and mitt romney's last race, i think it was on super tuesday, evangelicals were split in thirds between mccain, huckabee, and romney. we're not quite as simple as people think. >> no. >> what about romney? what's your take on romney? >> i think he's going to be a very serious, credible candidate. you know, he's overwhelmingly likely to get the nomination, i think it's going to be a very close election. and he's a solid guy. he's going to give a tough race to obama. that would be my guess. >> you can tell what kind of tough race he's going to give obama from the debate last night. >> it still makes sense to me. there's a third lane with a new car coming in. why is that not possible? it's so obvious there's a white knight coming in. >> where? >> i don't know. >> where is he? >> maybe he's a mayor of new york, maybe he's a talk show host, i don't know. >> the mayor of new york is -- i don't know. so as a public service to --
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well, i just won't even say. let me put it up. i was about to say something, i can't finish that sentence that doesn't get me in trouble. we'll give you a definition for donny. gestalt, the concept, donny of wholeness. did you know that was the definition of gestalt. it's a concept of wholeness. arianna huffington next, thomas friedman. we'll ask him what his definition is. and up next, willie's news that you can't use. plus we'll talk to jeffrey sachs about those poverty numbers. really stunning. ♪
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oh, yes, is it time? >> yes, it is, prerecorded mika. >> we're not going to show the two shot. >> two husky fellows sitting next to each other. yesterday i'm watching joy behar. >> which we usually do. >> it is a good show. >> it is. i watch the last episode of her show. she's going off the air, moving on to bigger things. >> why is that? >> she's too big. >> bigger fish to fry. bigger fish to fry.
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so they go to black, she says good-bye, it's a beautiful moment. they dip to black, you think it's over going to the next show, which is, of course, the next show. >> the next show. yeah, i love it. the great next show. and then i see this. >> i had a terrible dream. i dreamt i had my own tv show and i kept repeating the same stories over and over again, day after day, night after night, it wouldn't end. >> baby, baby, that wasn't a dream, it's cable news. now go back to bed. i've got to get up in a couple of hours. >> okay. pleasant dreams, dear. >> joe, not tonight, i have a headache. >> oh, joe! >> we're newhart fans.
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>> spoof to the show of newhart. >> you've been spending a lot of time in bed on tv. >> roger bennett, it's what i do. it's what i do. >> we love joy behar, by the way. she's still on "the view." >> do the best acting on my back. that's what they say about me. >> out in hollywood. >> yeah. >> up next, arianna huffington and thomas friedman when "morning joe" comes back. [ knock on door ] cool. you found it. wow. nice place. yeah. [ chuckles ] the family thinks i'm out shipping these. smooth move. you used priority mail flat rate boxes. if it fits, it ships for a low, flat rate. paid for postage online and arranged a free pickup. and i'm gonna track them online, too.
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we know that he cashed paychecks from freddie mac. that's the best evidence that you can have. over $1.6 million. and frankly, i am shocked listening to the former speaker of the house because he's defending the continuing practice of freddie mac and fannie mae. i was trying to see these two entities put into bankruptcy because they, frankly, need to go away. when the speaker had his hand out and he was taking $1.6 million to influence senior republicans to keep the scam going in washington, d.c. that's absolutely wrong. >> that's just not true. what she just said is factually not true. i never lobbied under any circumstance. people ought to have facts before they make wild allegations. >> let me -- >> yes. congresswoman? >> well, after the debate we had last week, politicfact came out and said everything i said was
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true. and the fact is he took $1.6 million. you don't need to be within the technical definition of a lobbyist to be influence peddling with senior republicans in washington, d.c. to get them to do your bidding. >> i want to state unequivocally for every person watching tonight, i have never once changed my positions because of any kind of payment. because the truth is, i was a national figure who was doing just fine -- >> well, a beautiful view of washington, d.c. set against a pink and blue backdrop. which is a perfect backdrop for filleting newt, which michele bachmann did last night. you know, it was -- willie, it was -- the attacks were devastating, but i think the most devastating part of that for the former speaker was when he denied it on camera -- denied something that everybody knew was the truth. that you read about on the front page of the "wall street journal."
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you read about in "red state," in the "new york times," every publication. he denied a fact. >> this parsing of words and the semantic argument about what lobbying is so weasely. the fact of the matter is, you served in congress, then you remained in washington as an influence peddler, a lobbyist. whatever you want to call it. he was doing that and michele bachmann called him out on it and he was uncomfortable. >> and the fact is they paid him $1.6 million because he was as he said a national figure that could influence conservative republicans when freddie and fannie were on the ropes. >> somehow it's supposed to be better that you're lobbying without being registered as a lobbyist. this is his defense. >> this happens all the time, when they had the lobbying ban, where you couldn't lobby for a year, i love the way they all got around it. what they'd say is i can't talk to you about any policy, but jim bob is coming over, and i go jim bob?
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and they go, yeah, jim bob's my guy. okay, that's how you get around it. oh, i'm not a lobbyist, i will no go into the office and tell him what to do, but his people -- it's -- >> sleaze -- >> it's a joke. jeffrey sachs is still with us, and also michael steele in washington, d.c. who is going to be responding to julia reed's charge that he has a man crush on newt gingrich. but with us on the table, the co-founder of the "huffington post," arianna huffington, and thomas friedman, the author of "that used to be us: how america fell behind in the world it invented and how we can come back." you know, this is -- i want to get to the debate, but we had some news that i want to talk to jeffrey sachs about in a bit. it goes back to the poverty level, higher than it's been, the middle class continues to shrink before our eyes, and we've got politicians talking gibberish in debates.
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and -- and we've got these insane negotiations between the white house and capitol hill that never seem to get anywhere. thomas? >> you know, joe -- >> what do we do? >> there's a concept in the u.s. air force they use in top gun school, it stands for observe, orient, decide, and act. and if you're a fighter pilot and your ability to observe, decide, and act, if theirs is faster, they'll shoot you out of the school. what's so shocking about watching the debates and listening to the debates is our ability to observe what's going on in the world, orient, decide, and act on it is so discombobulated right now. if you look at the biggest trends in the world right now. the fact that we're in the third high-tech revolution, the hyperconnectivity going on, companies thriving at that, so many people left behind by it. that should be to me at the center piece of our discussion, and it's simply not.
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our ooda loop is not. >> i once had an admiral come up to me when somebody was attacking me and he said, hey, boy, don't be confused by the ground noise, stay focused on the signal. and it's as if all of those people in the depabates and on capitol hill and in washington, d.c. are flying that jet, and they're looking down -- >> that's right. >> and they're texting. and they're not looking at what's going on out in front of them. >> you know, jeff and i -- for some reason we write the same book every three years. >> they're great books. >> it's kind of funny. i'll speak first, but jeff will reinforce it. so, you know, to me the biggest thing going on in the world today is that we are entering what i call this hyperconnected world. and what is done, joe. if the world were a classroom now, single classroom, it's raised the global curve.
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and i say that because every employer today has access now to more cheap software, cheap automation, cheap robotics, and cheap genius than ever before. and on the one hand, that leads to enormous productivity gains, on the other hand, it puts enormous stress on workers as we have a chapter in the book called average is over. everyone now has got to find their extra. you know, that thing that will basically give them a unique value add in this world. and it's a huge challenge. what it means for the labor market, what it means for workers and education. and people say to me very easy for you to say, mr. "new york times" columnist. i actually inherited the office at the "new york times" washington bureau. and i would suspect, he used to say to himself, i wonder what my seven competitors are going to write today and he knew all seven. so i do the same thing. i come to the office every day and i say, i wonder what my 70 million competitors will write today. okay? >> yeah. >> i basically -- and i did a
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column a month ago from india about $30 ipad, goes up sunday night at about 6:00 p.m., i think about 10:00 p.m., there was already posted in the comment section of the column, someone had stress tested the device at a lab in india and given the feedback. unfortunately it supported what i said. that's the world we're in and it affects all of us. >> or you come in and say, what's jeffrey sachs writing? perhaps. the latest census data shows nearly half of americans have fallen into poverty. the numbers point to a shrinking middle class squeezed by rising living costs, about 97.3 million americans fall into a low-income category about $45,000 a year for a family of four. and you've written a book about this, as well, about the squeezing of the middle class. >> and in fact, when you think -- especially during this holiday period about children in particular, we now have 1.6 million children that are
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homeless and 5.6 million children living in poverty. and this dramatic increases happen during the democratic administration. and that speaks to the point that tom made and i quote your line that you actually -- something you wrote about three years ago that we only seem to be capable of producing solutions to our major problems, and that's the fundamental issue. it's not about right or left, not about democrats or republicans, because whoever is in power right now can still not deal with the biggest crisis we're having, which is the squeezing of the middle class and the downward mobility. 100 million people today are worse off than their parents were at the same age. >> jeffrey sachs, 1 in 2 americans near poverty. >> the data are unbelievable. the census came out with what they call the supplemental poverty measure. so they added in the costs of going to work. they added in the costs of out of pocket medical expenses, they added in the costs of child care
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for a mother who is going off to work, readjusted the numbers, and turns out that 1 out of 2 americans is in the low-income category. not the poverty category. we have a poverty line, and then twice the poverty line is that $40,000 per household, that's the low-income line. and half of americans now -- >> $40,000 for a family of four. >> half of americans are now in low income. it's shocking. we're supposed to be the great middle class society. we have drifted into a disaster with income highly concentrated at the top and then more and more people falling out of the middle class. and this is something that has been going on for 30 years, really. we've never addressed it in this country. what tom says is absolutely right, it's globalization, we need to raise the skill levels. we're still not getting more than a third of our kids through a college degree, which is one
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of the most reliable ways into the middle class. in fact, just about the only reliable way, but the numbers from the census are really shocking. you know, it's -- america's changing, it's below the radar screen in terms of where the media are often. but what's really happening out in america. we heard it from the mayors yesterday, the massive amount of hunger in the cities, we still can't get taxes on the hedge fund guys. because that's where the politics is gridlocked. >> well, tom, let's talk about the politics for a minute. i want to get everybody's take on the republican debate last night, but before we do that, we can look at the republican debate and talk about dysfunction, we can also talk about what's happening in washington, d.c. they're scrambling now to avert a third possible shutdown in a year. this system is broken, tom. >> well, you know, joe, if you think -- what's so frustrating is we are so far, but yet so close. if we could get a few basic things right, it's not going to
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solve everything overnight. the issues that jeff and arianna have raised. but it could give us momentum in the right direction. first, i believe we need a short-term stimulus. even with the other stimulus, we have a problem of aggregate demand here. but we need a stimulus focused on real things that will actually advance the job market in the future, and that is infrastructure, in my view, it would be infrastructure for cities. at the same time, we need a long-term fix to our fiscal imbalances, which i think would do two things. one, it would give people the confidence to invest my stimulus. but second, i think the country today, joe, feels like we're children of permanently divorcing parents. >> right. >> i think there's a down beat mood in the country. and i think if you can get a short-term stimulus, a long-term fix, it would at least unlock a lot of the investment in the country. >> but let's talk about why what you just talked about, which is what i've talked about doesn't work because you talked about
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the permanently divorcing parents. you said the word stimulus. and half of the country cut you off, and then you talked about long-term debt, which means medicare and social security, the other half cut you off. when the fact of the matter is, if we would have somebody being responsible -- it's one thing that somebody that's having long-term debt problems tells me they want to go to las vegas. i say you can't afford to go to las vegas. but they say i can't tell me what i'm going to do. and they show me all the things they are selling. i say you go ahead and sell those things and prove to me and then go to vegas because it's going to be a blip on the screen at the end of the day. we could have a stimulus project if, at the same time, we were taking care of the 30-year crisis with medicare, medicaid, defense spending. but neither side seems capable of doing two things at once. >> let me say a word about the path in the middle because there is a path in the middle and most americans want it. first, stimulus, per se, i think
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this is our third time around. i think, tom, we have to reach the point to say another one year of something if it's not harness to a long-term strategy isn't going to do it. >> that's it, a stimulus -- >> i think it's the wrong word. we need a strategy. we haven't had a strategy, we've had a series of gimmicks. even this payroll tax cut is another gimmick. it's not a line to long-term strategy. second, we need investment. and we agree, infrastructure's part of it, but investment in our kids is absolutely essential. that means that you don't just slash the government away and end up without being able to make the investments we need for the future. that brings us to how we're going to get some cost savings, the military, obviously, has huge amount that needs to be cut. yesterday, good news finally, iraq, okay, that went over, we've got to get out of afghanistan, that's another huge saving ahead. health care costs, real reform, but that's because we have such
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a high priced private health insurance industry, which is the most expensive in the world. but then we have to come to the tax side. because all the money -- >> when you say welfare, are you talking about medicare and medicaid? >> i'm not talking about medicare and medicaid, they're less than 1/3 of our health system, it's our health system -- >> you cannot be serious talking about long-term debt. we usually agree without talking about medicare. the growth of medicare -- >> no, of course, but you can't solve the health industry problem and the expense of medicare by medicare alone. it's only 4% out of 17% of gnp of our spending. you have to fix the health care system, then medicare costs will come down. what's broken is out of control health care costs. but that's the whole health system, not the small part that's medicare. so if you go after medicare, it sounds like you're going after the fix, but what you're going
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after, dpagain, is the gimmick. >> well, i agree with you, but you can't use the word small and medicare in the same sentence because -- >> let me say what i mean by that, precisely, joe. 4% of national income goes to medicare, 17% of national income goes to health spending. we are twice as expensive in health care as all the rest of our countries -- >> i understand. >> and the reason is we've handed everything over to local, private monopolies. >> i understand that. >> 30 years from now -- >> we have to fix -- >> medicare and medicaid is going to consume 90%, if we don't -- >> that's correct because the health system is broken, not medicare. >> okay. >> one of the big problems over this whole year has been the way the debate has been conducted. there's been so much emphasis from both sides on the spending side that admits the fact that if we don't have growth, we're never going to be able to solve the spending crisis, the deficit
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crisis. >> please, taxes are the others -- >> taxes is one thing. >> taxes -- >> the infrastructure spending that tom is talking about that we would have had to do even if we were at full employment because everything is crumbling. and the fact that we can't get a national consensus to do that, that is really what is so disturbing. >> michael steele, we're talking here about a congress that's unable or a government that's unable to do big things. if you look at above the fold in the "wall street journal" talking about the extension of the payroll tax cut, democrats saying maybe we'll extend it for two months, that would be an alternative for a year. if it was a gimmick at a year, it's a gimmick at two months. what do we do to change the system? how do we change it? we can talk about how bad it is, but let's look forward. what do we do to change it? >> i don't know with this crew if it can be changed. i think we've bumbled, stumbled through the past couple of years, and i think the
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professor's right, you've got the gimmicks out here. they're short-term, they're not even good short-term. and the reality of it is people are just ticked off right now to the point that the elections are their only way to really kind of push back. we saw it in 2010 where you saw a lot of new faces and voices come to congress. i think you'll see that again next year, and i think it puts the republican nominee and the president of the united states on an important hot seat going into next year. how they articulate the way forward, not with the gimmicks, not with the strategy, but the long-term and short-term solution that takes into account real revenue changes, real economic improvements, and real stimulus, if you will, to use a dirty word, for small businesses to do what they do best and that's to create jobs. and i think you'll see that at the ballot box coming next fall. >> all right. michael, thank you for being with us. >> good being with you guys. >> we appreciate it. >> i'm going to go find my
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gestalt. >> go find your gestalts and say hi to newt for us. republican presidential candidate buddy roemer with us, also david gregory joins us, and the washington post eugene robinson. wow. it's a great hd tv... shhh. don't speak. i'll just leave you two alone. [ male announcer ] the big christmas event is here. 8 a.m. saturday. with our lowest prices of the season on select toys, electronics and more... the only stop for last minute gifts is walmart.
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many republicans seemed conflicted about you. they say that you're smart, that you're a big thinker. at the same time, many of those same republicans worried deeply about your electability in a general election. >> speaker had a conservative revolution against him when he was the speaker of the house. >> he has a different definition than i have. because it's a gse, government sponsored enterprise. that's completely different. it's a government agency, they get the money and sponsorship, they get mixed up. it's the worst kind of economy. >> he would not only support, but he would campaign for republicans who are in support
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of the barbaric procedure known as partial birth abortion. george will asked the question of speaker gingrich. he said this. he said is it a virtue to tolerate in fantasied? this is a seminal issue. it's something that we can't get wrong. >> michele bachmann has -- we've seen a transformation, a big transformation, especially in the past month, willie. >> she was the enforcer last night. she was the one calling newt gingrich on the carpet about lobbying, calling ron paul to the carpet about iran. she was the one last night. >> she had two great lines. the one on lobbying and influenced badly. everybody at the stable would've completely endorsed it word for word, and the other sort of unintentional good line is life is a seminal issue. we can all agree on that. >> the other thing to gingrich, so he was getting $1.6 million
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and he was lobbying, that means he was getting $1.6 million to teach history. that's a really well paid -- jeff's in academia, he can tell -- >> that's a good gig. >> historian for fannie mae. >> and arianna and i were talking about it before, i think in part, part of the reason why michele bachmann leaned in on him the way she did is because he keeps talking down to her. >> oh, yes. >> and arianna you brought up afterwards. it was fascinating afterwards. >> first of all, during the debate, he did not address her by her name. he kept referring to her as she, she said. and then right after, he was being interviewed by shawn, and he said you didn't really go after each other. romney didn't go after you -- and he said, you know, there's kind of a comradery among us with the exception of michele bachmann. >> among us guys.
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>> let's go to washington and bring in the moderator of "meet the press," david gregory, also associate editor of the "washington post" eugene robinson. david, i start with you, what was your take away from the debate? >> well, to pick up on what you're talking about. romney made a decision last night he was not going to take the fight to gingrich. he saw what happened in the last debate. if romney these days is relying upon more establishment republicans attacking gingrich, which they are doing, he wants to rely upon ron paul or michele bachmann to take it to him, especially on social issues. that's one of the things that struck me last night. there was a very big debate about war, and about going to war, particularly against iran. and a return in a way i haven't heard before to social issues that really do move conservative primary voters. you would think less so in the age of the tea party.
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but you wouldn't have known that from last night. talking about abolishing courts in the united states, impeaching judges. if you disagree with them. and, of course, talking about abortion and gay marriage. >> that is -- >> eugene robinson, that's one area we haven't really talked about. but newt gingrich continues to talk about his own war against the judiciary, which, of course, anybody that understands what -- what acts as sort of a foundation of a civilization. in part it is a judiciary that's not overly politicized. >> yeah, i thought during that whole portion of the debate, newt sounded kind of crazy. abolishing courts and just this invective against judges. everybody knows that, you know, democrats are going to appoint liberal judges and republicans, conservative judges, that's kind of the way it works. it thought that was weird.
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i thought, you know, bachmann had a good night, i thought rick perry's tebow moment was memorable. and his best line of all the debates. >> yeah. memorable's one way to put it. >> he has a lot of memorable moments. >> he certainly does. let's look forward from here. about 2 1/2 weeks till the voting in iowa on january 3rd. we've seen some erosion over the last week or so of newt gingrich's numbers in that state. where do we go now for the next two weeks. >> look, those negatives are high, willie. and you have mentioned it previously on the program this morning, which is the real absence of support for gingrich among high-profile republicans with whom he worked, who know him well, and that's just about everybody in the republican establishment. so there is as jon stewart talked about, a kind of intervention going on. romney's stepping up the fight as he can, but he's also relying upon the help of friends and rivals in iowa. so if they drive up those
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negatives, if it hurts him in iowa, he may still win iowa. but look, romney is digging in for a longer fight. and i talked to a prominent republican yesterday who reminded me that even if gingrich takes off on the early going, february in the calendar because of florida jumping the line, means that february is kind of a break if there's a run away train. there's a pause, and it would allow romney to regroup some. also, the fact that there's proportional delegates really does matter here. and you can just look at 2008 for how that game plan can roll out. that's what romney's thinking about. he's also picking up the nikki haley endorsement, the governor of south carolina with strong tea party support. he's looking a bit beyond iowa understanding that he may have a tough time there. he's got to be rooting for ron paul, though, to help him. >> let's talk about how these campaigns are financed for a
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moment. because yesterday we saw newt gingrich, a guy's that the not been working the ground in iowa or new hampshire that much that doesn't really have a broad base of support financially. i think the campaign still in debt. yesterday a billionaire came out and said he's going to write a check for $20 million for newt gingrich, that's going to give him the lift. we've gotten to a stage in politics that resembliisresemir campaign finance prewatergate. by one very wealthy anti-war. >> well, we have the supreme court to thank for that. and, you know, joe i don't have to tell you, our congress has become a form for legalized bribery. why is it that you have i think 61 members on the house financial services committee? because everyone's so interested in financial services, or because it's the biggest atm in congress?
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there was at one point over 70, that's like a quarter -- almost a quarter of the -- a fifth of the house. so we are never going to have the optimal, you know, kind of legislation when you have this kind of money that can buy this many people. >> there's been a very recent example of this, which is completely bipartisan legalized bribery. we've done a series of pieces on for profit colleges and how effectively they are defrauding students. and the administration was going to push through congress the regulations of for profit colleges, there's so much campaigning, by so many democratic lobbyists or not lobbyists, and anybody who is anybody in the democratic power
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circles that all these perfectly legitimate regulations were so ordered out, some of it's so clear, unequivocal about what's happening to students who are being lured into this college with the promise of jobs, leaving the colleges without the skills to get real jobs, and we can't get regulations through. >> we can't even get the regulations to stop insider trading of congressmen, because congress is regulating the most crude self-interest that's been widely exposed in recent months and they won't even act on their own inside trading scandals. >> gene robinson, you can go presidential campaigns, insider trading, down to the fact that pizza is going to be called a vegetable in schools because lobbyists ask that happen. it goes all the way down. >> yeah, the money in politics, it's a corrosive factor that really does make it as tom said a form of legalized bribery.
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we've got to get that influence out somehow. but we're going to ask the bribees to do it? it's crazy. >> doesn't work that way. >> can i make a tactical point? it's really interesting. here's the practical effect of it. the obama campaign will have so much money as you go into the early part of next year that a lot of republican activists that i talked to who will be responsible for some of this outside group money say, look, we have been -- we're going to have a republican nominee by april or may, maybe it's that long, and this nominee is going to be really broke after all the spending they do, and they're going to be facing an obama campaign ready to pounce. that's why they're funneling more money in from the outside. >> no doubt. all right. david. hey, david, who do you have this weekend? >> michele bachmann, the aforementioned. >> she may have another run at it in iowa. i would -- i would take a close look at her.
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i think she's going to be stronger in iowa than a lot of people think right now. >> yeah. we'll do it. >> eugene robinson, thanks for being with us. we appreciate it. and for bringing up rick perry's tebow moment. we'll be reading your comment in the "washington post," and thomas friedman, thank you. the secret today, you wait until see what jeffrey sachs is going to write. >> we've been doing it separately. >> thanks so much. >> i agree with you so much, both of you. quick look at monday's show, we're going to have romney on as our guest, and standing by in our green room, another republican presidential candidate, and he's a good one, willie. >> great message. >> he's got a great message. buddy roemer has a great message. he'll be here with julia reed when we return. ♪ i'm burning out this useless telephone ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." beautiful picture of the christmas tree outside our building here. you know every year, millions of letters to santa pass through the united states post office on their way to the north pole. aol is now partnering with the post office to help its
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operation santa program. understanding you are going to help santa answer some of the letters. >> yes, this year santa is getting 2 million letters from children. >> wow. >> who are not going to get presents otherwise. and so we are helping santa, and fulfill some of these wishes that children have. so basically anybody who wants, who is listening now can go on the huffington post site or go to their local post office that's running this program, operation santa program that started 99 years ago. >> wow. >> and they're matched with a letter. the post office is doing it really responsibly. they redact the address and the last name. you don't have to fulfill the wishes, whatever you want. you take it to the post office and they take care of the delivery free of charge. we had an incredible response, as well as the letters our own employees are filling, we are matching them for an additional
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number of letters, and we're also offering 1,000 sweaters. because what is amazing this year, and this is really part of what we're talking earlier about, the increase in poverty. a lot of the requests are not for toys, they're for warm clothes. and that's really what is so sad. to see, you know, children asking for a warm coat. >> so, again, people can go to the huffingtonpost.com or the website, you're assigned a letter essentially, and you can answer the wishes. >> you can answer the wishes or any part of the wish. >> go to huffingtonpost.com. good work, arianna, well done. good to see you as always. >> great to see you. you know, willie, this next segment is fascinating. because both of these people that are coming onset, if we can get a shot, had something to do with julia reed's moving. buddy roemer is the reason julia moved to louisiana. and donny deutsch is the reason
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why she will never come back to new york city. we'll explain why when we bring on former governor of louisiana, buddy roemer. more "morning joe" in a minute. the markets never stop moving. of course, neither do i. solution? td ameritrade mobile trader. i can enter trades on the run. even futures and 4x. complex options, done. [ cellphone rings ] thank you. live streaming audio. advanced charts. look at that. all right here. wherever "here" happens to be. mobile trading from td ameritrade.
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so come on down to louisiana... florida... alabama... mississippi. we can't wait to see you. brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. hey, with us now, we've got former republican governor of louisiana buddy xcluded from th last night, despite he's polling people in new hampshire. but you know what? buddy's a positive guy. he didn't let that get in his way of getting his message to the people. >> governor roemer will not be kept down. what do you do, governor? >> i'm the tweet master. >> you answer every question on the debate on twitter. >> i'm not bragging, i was lucky, i answered the rick perry flub a couple of debates before
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he did. >> i love it. >> you answer these characters in 140 characters or less. you were gau-- you go after the guys, don't you? >> newt's been in the trough so long, he can't smell a pig. i know that -- >> julia knew that was coming. she knew the punch line. >> i couldn't sleep after the debate last night. >> really? >> they didn't ask the questions that americans worry about. they didn't ask about justice. how can a guy with a big check get first in line when a family's been waiting all their life for an opportunity? it's not right. and it's tea party, it's occupy wall street, it's dylan ratigan, it's larry lesik at harvard and it's buddy roemer, we're putting groups together that want justice in this country.
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economic justice. and the problem, joe, are the big checks from the special interests. they talk all this language they want. that's what it is. >> but at the end of the day, buddy roemer's figured out a new way to get checks. you're holding a check in your hand right now. >> he wants me to say this. >> no, you're the one onset holding a check. >> i get on the plane, small plane from manchester here, i'm going back this morning. and the guy -- as i walked by says aren't you buddy roemer? and i said, yes, sir, i used to be. i said how do you know me? and he said i saw you on "morning joe," man, you were awesome. can i write you a check? i said absolutely. he said how much? i said $100. that's all i'd take. >> it's a different "morning joe," people stop me in the street and they throw things at me. >> don't blame me for that. >> in this case, it isn't the message, you are, and that's the problem. julia, you -- you know this guy.
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>> i first ran across governor roemer when he was defending his governorship against edwin edwards and david -- well, he lost the primary, and that's how i got to new orleans. i can give you a little credit. because once you get there, it's hard to leave. >> it is hard. >> i was not a tax-paying citizen of louisiana in those days, so it didn't matter to me that i was covering. i'm sorry you lost, but you were not nearly as much fun to follow around. you still had that rubber band, is what i want to know? >> no, i don't have the rubber band. i lost it with my youth. >> you banished all negative thoughts with the rubber band. >> he'd snap it every time he had a negative thought. talk about it, though. we'll talk about newt gingrich, talking about congress. talking about newt's getting a $20 million check, you got $100 check there, and newt's getting a $1 million check from a billionaire, which means he's not going to have to raise money person to person like he used to. >> every candidate on the stage
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last night, joe, has a super pack, and it's run by a brother, brother-in-law, a cousin, a former campaign manager, a former chief of staff, or a father. now, the law says super packs can take unlimited amounts of money and don't have to report them over a period of time. but they must be independent. now, i ask you, is mitt romney and newt gingrich super packs independent? is jon huntsman? for god sakes, the chief apologist for china, that's jon huntsman. we're going to lose more jobs in america, and the way he gets his money, his campaign's broke, he has a super pack run by his father and fully financed. you can do that, joe. your dad can give you money, but under american law, above a certain amount, you have to pay taxes, the huntsmans have avoided that. >> but with the system we have, governor, how do you get past that? if you're only taking checks from guys at airports for $100
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and newt gingrich can get a guy to give him $100 million. how does a guy like you who doesn't have the money, how do you breakthrough in the american political system? >> it's not about me. i've got to have americans not be spectators. this is not a game. this is about the children and their grandchildren. and i'm asking them, step up. if there's a better candidate than me, let's be for her or him. i have no problem with that. but i will stick to my basic fact. the only guy running who has been a congressman and a governor. i know this system. i have fought corruption since you knew me in louisiana. a most corrupt state. here's how you do it, you say no to the money and yes to the people. and i'm asking the average plain american to stand up. it's buddyroemer.com if you'll let me say that. and all over america people are
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giving to me. and my average gift is $51.46. >> hey, buddy, i'm going to tell you how to fight the super pack thing. all you have to do is ad. basically, 20 million was given to newt by sammy egg ellissegge runs the casino empire. all you have to do is are you going to vote for him or for me? that will bite all these guys in the behind at some point. you say this is the person and what he's done. it's me versus him. you take the emperor's clothes off. it's the only thing. >> i'm not a fool. i'm 68 years old. congressman, governor, built a successful bank, almost a billion dollars, profitable, no bailout. i know the ground and i know the truth. and normally i would not stand up alone and put a hundred dollar limit. but unless we change the whole
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perspective of our politics, i think the people in this country know that we're on the wrong track. here's the good news. we can do budget reform, tax reform, bank reform, tax reform again, immigration reform, addiction to foreign oil. we can handle these problems. but first you have to get the special interest out of the room, donny. ge won't let you do fair trade with china. they like unfair trade. they'll build a plant in china, send the product back to america. understanding they don't build a plant in china to serve the chinese. they outsource their production to bring it back to america. i think that's incorrect. and the only way to do it is to not have ge be the job czar for the president. they can be a fine company. >> we got to change the
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gestault. >> yeah. i don't know. i don't know what we're going to do with you. he's good. there are a lot of people at home angry. i hope they have the rubber bands. >> you know -- >> it's people like her that gave me all the credit for the rubber band. >> you had this rubber band. well, i mean i saw you pop the rubber band. >> it was my assistant. it was a great idea. i never bought into it. i think it's ridiculous. >> you need somebody -- >> i try to defend him. >> buddy, we need to get you back here and quickly we have to get a break but if the republican party keeps shutting you out of these debates will you consider running as an independent? >> i'll look at it. i'm a republican. i'll stay a republican. but there are alternatives for a unity ticket. i will look at that. country is in trouble, joe. >> yes it is. >> it's time to throw deep. >> yes, it is. i couldn't agree more. >> which tim tebow can't do by the way. thank you, former governor buddy roemer we greatly appreciate you being here. >> thanks for having me. >> coming up next, on monday
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we'll be talking to mitt romney. he's going to be in here. what do we have next, willie? >> we have a lot of stuff lined up. >> like to the water cooler? >> we'll do some of that. "morning joe" is coming right back.
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last night at the debate rick perry compares himself to
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tim tebow. >> oh, yeah. >> he's the guy nobody said could do it. everybody under estimated him. >> tebow on the front of "sports illustrated." huge. >> tebowing now. donny deutsch explained tebowing. it is an international phenomena. now we have our first tebowing scandal believe it or not. a long island high school, riverhead, new york great town has left four students suspended and many more scratching their heads. the controversy surrounds a group of students who dropped to their knees and buried their heads in their hands. the signature move of tim tebow. this was during the school day in the hallway. a bunch of students participated in the tebowing. only four student athletes though suspended by the school. the school says the one-day spen suspensions were handed out because the tebowing students created an unsafe situation in the hallway and prevented other students from getting to class. the students were just having fun they said. >> come on. >> the school says the students were warned before. don't do this again. we'll suspend you. we're not upset by the tebowing
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but get out of the hallway so now they are suspended for one day. >> why? >> riverhead high school. >> a lot of kids do a lot of worse things. >> seriously? >> it's a safety issue. >> before we go -- >> uh-oh. >> guys, there's christmas tree stuff, it is the first day, first eve of hannukah tonight. >> yes. >> i think that should be duly noted. this is an equal opportunity program. i know there is a big hebraic audience out there that would like me to reference that. happy hannukah to all out there. >> we're big in tel aviv. >> we are actually. >> i know. we are. >> and boca raton. >> tel aviv and boca. better slow down. >> all right. coming up next we break down the biggest moments from last night's debate. did newt gingrich come away unscathed? ttd# 1-800-345-2550
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many republicans seem conflicted about you. they say that you're smart, that you're a big thinker. at the same time many of those same republicans worry deeply about your electability in a general election. >> the speaker had a conservative revolution against him when he was the speaker of the house. >> he has a different definition of the private sector than i have because it's a gse, government sponsored enterprise. it's completely different. it's a government agency. they get the money and sponsorship. they get mixed up.
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it's the worst kind of economy. >> he would not only support but he would campaign for republicans who are in support of the barbaric procedure known as partial birth abortion. george will asked the question of speaker gingrich. he said this. he said, is it a virtue to tolerate infanti cide? this is a seminole issue. it's something we can't get wrong. >> good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast as you take a live look at new york city. back with us onset we have donny deutsch and jeffrey saks and michael steele in washington. >> newt gingrich got hammered last night. >> he did. and then it sort of -- >> he recovered. >> it spread out and people were hammering each other but there was a little bit. some -- it was interesting. >> what was interesting about it? i found it just an overall blur last night other than the great tim tebow reference. >> the tim tebow -- >> the whole thing blurred. >> that was fascinating. >> i'm sorry.
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we need to go ahead. can we cut to the chase? >> literally. >> just do it. go first. >> this is rick perry. >> take it. >> who by the way, rick perry now, has set the bar so low, right, i was looking at some of the commentary afterwards. if he does not bleed like from his ears by the end of the debate, it's considered a great victory for him. right? so this is rick perry last night talking about -- >> i'm kind of getting where i like these debates. i hope obama and i debate a lot and i'll get there early and we will get it on and we will talk about our differences, which are great. i'll talk about what we've done in the state of texas. i'll talk about passing a balanced budget amendment to the united states congress. i'll talk about having a -- the type of part-time congress that i think americans are ready for. and, you know, there are a lot of people out there, i understand it, there are a lot of folks that said tim tebow
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wasn't going to be a very good nfl quarterback. there are people that stood up and said well he doesn't have the right throwing mechanisms or you know he's not playing the game right. and, you know, he won two national championships and that looked pretty good. we were the national champions in job creation back in texas. but am i ready for the next level? let me tell you. i hope i am the tim tebow of the iowa caucuses. >> you know, the oxford debating society were there, we'd call that halting sassy. even when he's sassy he's halting. >> i thought newt was going to compare himself to chad ochocinco. >> all right. >> still torture. >> you know, if he just said i'm the tim tebow of iowa they would have clapped. it was just -- >> okay. >> poor guy. i do feel bad for him. >> the best part of that for me, guys, was the look at the end
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there that mitt romney had there standing there with this look like where is he going with this? what is this man talking about? why is he still on this stage? you know, it was one of those moments that for me that was encapsulated. >> you may get a call from tim tebow's lawyers this morning. >> under attack with nearly every one of his opponents offering criticism, his electability, conservative values, and record in washington all came into question. michele bachmann led the charge focusing on gingrich's dealings with mortgage giant freddie mac. >> we know that he cashed pay checks from freddie mac. that's the best evidence that you can have. over $1.6 million and, frankly, i am shocked listening to the former speaker of the house, because he is defending the continuing practice of freddie mac and fannie mae. i was trying to see these two
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entities put into bankruptcy because they frankly need to go away when the speaker had his hand out and he was taking $1.6 million to influence senior republicans to keep the scam going in washington, d.c. that's absolutely wrong. >> you know, it is. it is surprising to me watching these debates and let me ask you as former chairman of the rnc, michael steele, if it's surprising to you that while newt gingrich, we've heard he is agile on his feet. in two areas he continues to give pained responses. last night was particularly painful when he tried to defend what he did with freddie mac. even freddie mac says it was clearly designed to give him money so it influenced republicans on the hill. number one. and then number two, his continued failure to be able to explain away his support for an individual mandate. and those two areas, he is not articulate. he's -- he can't seem to swat
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those issues away. >> you're right there, joe. i thought it was probably the weakest first hour for him in all the debates that he's had. that really zeroed in very clearly and it was obvious he was uncomfortable with it, obvious he was really trying to connect dots that just weren't coming that close together. and i thought bachmann really scored some good punches there. >> boy, she did. >> she really did. >> did you notice, too, michael, about bachmann, i think at this point she's getting pretty tired of it. newt. >> yes. >> newt gingrich when he attacks michele bachmann sort of speaks in a different tone and is far more condescending to michele bachmann than he is to the men on the stage, and she is starting -- she is actually starting to push back. it's something we noticed a couple debates ago but i think michele bachmann's about had enough of him being condescending to her. >> i think it's the irritation that really came through there
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at several key moments where they were going back and forth and she just took the stance, look, i am a serious contender for this office just like you are. i tweeted out, you go, girl. she hit it in a way that made it very clear, you're not going to get away with pushing back on me to make me look less than capable or less than worthy of being on the stage. again, i think that was one of those moments where bachmann showed she is in this fight, iowa is her waterloo in many respects. she has to make a strong stand here and be able to come out of there stronger than she has been. i thought last night she did herself a great service in getting there. >> i thought she did very well. i think she scored a lot of points by basically saying newt was being condescending to her as a woman. i want to talk about the gses though. because gingrich did fumble around the fact that when it --
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actually at the time that was most critical, when the bubble was about to explode, that's when newt was getting money and he can't seem to be able to explain that away. >> how can he? it's pure influence peddling and it's pure insider dealing and it's purely what americans are disgusted about. and he can't walk away from it. so there is no glibness that's going to allow him to back away from the record. michele bachmann completely nailed it. she had it completely right. we know that fannie mae and freddie mac were a disaster because they were in this limbo land where they were taking huge risks on an implicit taxpayer guarantee, which ended up being invoked. in other words, they were behaving recklessly knowing that they'd be bailed out in the end and there was newt making a lot of money using his insider status both to enrich himself
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but as we see so often in our politics right now to wreck the policies for the rest of america. >> yeah. he can't walk away from that. >> and, mika, even the freddie mac people are saying his job was to influence republicans on the hill because there was a concern at this time at this time the republicans were going to shut down fannie and freddie. it had been a scandal ridden agency. they looked with great suspicion at people like barack obama and chris dodd who got a lot of money contributed. they had no idea newt was actually pocketing his money. >> well, and the answer is always incredibly, if i may, arrogant and tone deaf. his answer last night was that he was a national figure and, you know, he was receiving fame and -- >> what is that -- that just underlines the point that he is
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the greatest example of the resolving door politics in washington, d.c. where somebody works for the government and then they make money off of the government. >> so here we are again. >> peddling influence. >> almost an entire chunk of a debate talking about something newt did in the past that is questionable, potentially hypocritic hypocritical, in most, some eyes arrogant with what is wrong with washington. instead of looking at a candidate and their experience and what they could do moving forward all we've done is look back on the pasts of some of these very weak candidates. >> willie, republicans have heard some republicans say over the past couple of days, do we really want to spend the next summer explaining away newt every day? what he said yesterday at a press conference, what he wrote in an op-ed three days ago? i think that is, even for people that like newt and say, okay,
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you know, he's a little out there on some of these things, but for the most part he is -- >> there are a lot of people saying i don't want to spend my summer when we should be going after barack obama explaining away newt's latest gaffe. >> or forget what he said yesterday or the week before. last night they were talking about what he did in 1994 or 1995. it always goes back to the past with newt gingrich. i thought rick santorum had one of the best lines when they were talking about whether or not newt gingrich is a real conservative. he said, when he was at congress, the speaker of the house, there was a conservative revolution led against him because he was not conservative enough. >> let me say i was in the room with -- there were just a handful of us, 10, 11 of us, and there was nobody like, you know, newt was calling us jihadists back then shall the perfectionist caucus. none of us were crazy. we were all saying, okay. if we want to balance this budget in seven years and this is our goal, we said we'll balance it in seven years, we've got to push newt. and time and time again newt backed away from it.
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and so for newt last night, last night to call us, quote, purists who got nothing done, michael steele, it is a matter of history that were it not for purists like steve largent, matt salmon, tom coburn, j.c. watts, myself, steve shabbot, there were about 10 or 11 of us, we wouldn't have gotten there. we pushed him overboard because he was dealing with dave obey more than he was dealing with steve largent. >> joe, i thought of you in that moment, and i -- the only thing i could say to myself was that joe just took another drink on that one because -- >> can you believe that? even last night, michael, he's talking about, they were purists who couldn't get anything done. i'm sorry. newt wanted to back down on tax
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cuts. what he called the week before the crown jewel of the contract with america. and we went to him and said, you're not going goat rto get r the tax cuts. if you try we're going to get rid of you. guess what? we get the tax cuts. we get the balanced budget. we get all the things that newt at the end didn't want to fight for. we had to push him out there to do it. you can talk to tom coburn or steve largent or matt salmon or mark sanford or any of these people. this is an important point. >> no, it is, joe. >> when push came to shove, newt always wanted to back down. >> but i want to make two quick points on that. one is a parallel point to today. what you've just described about the conservative revolution within the conservative revolution, we've seen, also, with the current speaker, and the 87 plus new members, tea party members in the house who pushed the leadership to get outside of its comfort zone to get outside of the washington
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way of doing it the old way and staying true to those core, small government principles that you've articulated. and the second point, which i want to go back to, the broader question about next year, the reality is this. regardless of who the nominee is, on that stage last night, we're going to be talking about their path because that's what people want to talk about. whether it's rick santorum, michele bachmann, you'll find that there are going to be those who are going to be within the party, before we even get outside the party, who are going to dredge up this noise about their past as opposed to making the point that mika just made about, let's talk about what you're going to do to move the country forward and how do you legitimately contrast yourself with barack obama? >> and, michael, some of these candidates who are doing far lesser in the polls do have careers and pasts that could be extremely productive to the future of this country and worth the -- >> can i just say one thing? >> yes. >> i know the point you're making. past is prologue and so what
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newt did before and mitt romney did before and others did before will tell you what they're going to do in the future. you know, yes i understand john boehner faces some of the same challenges but john boehner is not passing himself off as, you know, this conservative stalwart. he is a guy saying i am trying to get things done here. >> the only way you can judge people is the past. when i am hiring somebody, i get references. what i find fascinating is that almost to a person anybody that has worked with newt closely, say stayed away and people are afraid to look at the references. it's just like people -- it's so stunning that the closer people were to newt the more they go --. that's called a reference. >> up next, it was a defining issue in the last presidential election. will religion play a factor in the 2012 race? we'll talk with the daughter of
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reverend billy graham, ann graham lotz here with author father james martin. first let's go to bill karins for a check on the forecast. >> this looks like a blessing, this weekend forecast. so many people have errands to run and finish up holiday shopping. we've had one good weekend after another. no snowstorms, ice storms, blizzards, just windy conditions out there. some airport delays are possible. definitely bumpy flights and landings in the northeast today. winds gusting 30 to 40 miles per hour so at least pretty mild out there and a good deal of sunshine but it is going to be very blustery as we look at the rest of the country in the southeast we had a good deal of rain moving through tennessee. that is going to slide into north carolina and south carolina and eventually virginia later on today toward tonight. west coast no problems at all. those santa ana winds, very strong, gusty winds will hit southern california saturday morning. be prepared for that. otherwise, what a weekend. 50 degrees in denver. it should be as warm as 50 degrees in kansas city by sunday. the only really chilly spot is up there in northern new england. they're happy about that. at least the ski areas to try to
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make some snow. most haven't even opened yet. christmas right around the corner. have a good weekend, everyone. you're watching "morning joe" brewed by starbucks. the employee of the month isss... the new spark card from capital one. spark miles gives me the most rewards of any small business credit card. the spark card earns double miles... so we really had to up our game. with spark, the boss earns double miles on every purchase, every day. that's setting the bar pretty high. owning my own business has never been more rewarding. coming through! [ male announcer ] introducing spark the small business credit cards from capital one. get more by choosing unlimited double miles or 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. what's in your wallet? i look fine. just a little trouble with a bargain brand cooking spray. i told you like a gajillion times to use new and improved pam. it's 70% better than that bargain stuff.
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welcome back to "morning joe." with us now we have anne graham lotz the author of the new children's book "heaven, god's promise for me" and also with us father james martin, author of "between heaven and mirth, why
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joy, humor, and laughter are at the heart of the spiritual life" and julia reed who we're hoping can get a little god infused in her. this was meacham's idea by the way. he said friday the reverend john meacham who said on fridays we need to do what we always grew up in the south where they'd give you the previews of the sermons. what was coming up on sunday. >> great idea. >> anyway, but you know, hemingway said, willie -- >> uh-oh. >> no, that, you know, you become stronger in the broken places. >> oh, yeah. >> we were just recounting with both of our guests the last time they saw us when we were doing this in sea caucus. >> remember that? >> i do. it was so long ago. >> let's talk about books first and then expand out a little bit. but uyou've got a great children's book here. talk about it. >> several years ago my mother
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died and i have three little grandchildren and we were talking about death and where you go afterwards and my oldest granddaughter was faced with death in her school, a classmate and some others, and, you know, sometimes adults have a hard time articulating about death and getting answers for what comes next and children have these questions but they don't know how to put them into words. so just talking to my grandchildren, i thought, i need to write something down. so i wrote this for children who are maybe have a death experience in a family or loved one but to give them hope that you can look beyond the grave. >> and to help parents explain. >> that's right. >> my father passed away this summer. it was so tough explaining to my 8-year-old daughter exactly what happened. >> this is for your 8-year-old daughter. >> i'm going to wrap this up. hopefully she is not watching. it's going to be her christmas present. >> it's written as a poem. there are beautiful illustrations. but it's true, joe. it is based on what the bible says. i believe the bible is god's word and is true but this is in a child's language. one of the things the bible tells us is heaven is a safe
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place and so one thing i bring out here is that there are no beast things in heaven. things that a child can relate to. >> right. >> but it is a wonderful story about two little children who face death and then what god tells them through his word and that they can know they're going to heaven when that moment comes and know something about what heaven is like. >> you know, i always have people ask me, who is your favorite interview, which big -- and we've interviewed presidents and prime ministers and basically just about everybody we ever wanted to interview but my answer has always been billy graham. billy graham. if you're from the northeast you don't understand but if you're from the southeast, willie, parts all across the world for our family, for my grand mom, my parents, your dad really was -- >> absolutely. >> as i say, our pope. he was. >> great analogy. >> in the south? but it's amazing. >> it's worldwide. travel the world and people i bump into all over have heard him, have seen him on tv, read
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his book and have come into a relationship with god through faith in jesus because of my daddy. and daddy is 93 as you know. >> right. >> and i hope that he's watching this morning. >> i hope so. >> i told him about it. and he's just had a bout with pneumonia but has overcome it and is doing really well. >> that's good. >> for a 93-year-old. you know, he has issues and some he has earned because of all the mileage he's put on. but he is doing so -- his mind is clear and i looked at him one day and said, daddy, you used to be handsome. now you're just beautiful. white hair, blue eyes. precious, gentle spirit. he knows he is going to heaven. >> yeah. >> but he's not ready to go yet. we're not ready to let him go yet either. >> when i was a young guy i remember father, reading a billy graham interview. it may have been in "time" magazine 30 years ago. and somebody asked billy graham, why does the -- what is the one characteristic of life that surprises you the most? he immediately said the brevity.
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and that's the thing. the clock is always ticking whether you're 93, 43, 23. how do we, especially in this age where everything is happening instantaneously, how do we reach out and grab something that's eternal, that's going to matter, that when we're 93 if we're blessed to be 93 we can look back and say, that was a race well run? >> well, i think one thing is you make time for it. you really have to carve out time for god, carve out time for religion in your life, carve out time for service, for reading scriptures, things like that. because it is short. you know, the race is short. and i think by the time we get to the end we might say i've missed all these things. i really think taking the opportunity to do that and also looking for god in your daily life is very important. >> and also laughing. >> amen. >> mirth. tell me about it. >> well, the book is called "between heaven and mirth" and is about faith leads to joy, how the saints and great spiritual masters, people like the reverend billy graham used humor and levity and light heartedness and how laughter is a real gift
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from god. religion has been seen as very gloomy, you know, we talk about the frozen chosen. and i'm trying to argue against that and bring a little joy into life. for the christian, christ is risen and that's good news. the good news should put a smile on your face. >> he is a good south carolinian. we have all southerners and then an adopted southerner here. >> went to school at vanderbilt. does that count? >> and he's been on colbert a good bit. >> the chaplain at the colbert report as i understand. >> he is. >> one of my ministries. >> boy, that's a big ministry. >> how do you help people right now? we've just had a report this morning talking about 1 in 2 americans living poor, in poverty in some form. how do you help people find joy in these times right now with so many people without jobs? what do you tell them? >> well, i think the first thing to say is that it's the christian responsibility and i think a moral responsibility to help the poor. that's the first thing. that's part of the christian way. for people who are struggling, i think it's asking them to find god, you know, in their daily
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lives to try to be grateful for what little they have but also for listening to their pain. i mean, to really listen to where they are and not say just, you know, don't worry be happy. i think part of being a christian and a religious person is to appreciate where a person is and hear their suffering and to help them with it. so it's not just to say, don't worry. it's to really sort of accompany them like jesus accompanied us in his life. >> you know, anne, it seems to me that back when i was growing up my parents in the '70s and '80s were concerned about the social turmoil of the '60s so there was a reflexive pulling back and sort of a narrow focus on let's stop the hippies from kicking down the door and taking joey away with them. but that led to a harshness, i think, for a lot of christians and we forget the bigger
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picture, taking care of the poor. when jesus is asked, how am i going to get to heaven? take care of the poor, be with the sick, visit people in prison. are we reconnecting as a faith with that? >> i think there have been people nene that generation and in the past who have not forgotten the poor. i think the media doesn't play it up and you don't hear about it so much. but for myself i just have to draw from my own experience that i'm not into religion so much which is less trying to please god and reach out to god with our own philosophical system but christmas is about god coming down, that god knew we couldn't reach out to him so he came down to us in the person of jesus christ and jesus, interestingly, was not born in a palace or in jerusalem but in the stable. he came down to identify with the poor. he came down to live amongst the poor and to love the poor but he loves the rich, too. so, you know, he loves the whole world. so i feel like as christians for myself i want to know who jesus is and i want to live my life to please him. and i know that when i put my
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faith in him and it's not about religion and trying to do better and do good but to put your faith in jesus and claim him as your savior and your lord you know you're going to heaven. adults and children can know they're going to heaven when they die and it gives purpose and meaning now. i was just thinking when you were answering the question about when you're poor if you can have joy, if my joy depend owned my bank account or my job or my family relationships i could lose it or it could vacillate, you know, as to what i have. but my joy is in my relationship with god through faith in jesus christ. and that is something that is a bed rock in my life so that doesn't change with all the circumstances. so what i would tell the poor and what i would tell the rich, because there are rich people who are very poor in spirit, you know, and not in a good way but they're spiritually impoverished. and i would tell them to find your joy in knowing god, in a personal relationship through faith in jesus and that transcends sickness, job loss, bankruptcy, you know, things that happen today, that happen to everybody.
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hard things are part of human life. life is hard, you know? but when you know jesus and you know god in a personal relationship, it gives you something to not just hang on to but god hangs on to us and it gives us purpose and meaning in the midst of those difficult times. >> there's also been a change, i think, where there's been more interfaith discussion today as donny deutsch brought up earlier. he said today was the first day of hannukah. it is not. donny deutsch, not only not an orthodox jew but perhaps the worst even reformist jew in new york city. it actually starts on tuesday. but talk about what this time of year means not just to christians but to jews and people of all faith. it seems to be a special time where people slow down, stop, and reassess. >> it is and thank god. while we talk about the war on christmas and those kinds of
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things it is still a religious time for most people. for as you said, particularly for jews and christians and i think it does remind us as anne was saying that our joy really comes from god. that it is not about how much money we make or, you know, our status or something like that. you know, joy is a lot deeper than happiness. joy is about a relationship. joy is about -- joy is happiness in god in a sense it's about a relationship. i think this time of year kind of reminds us of that. i think the problem is people get so overwhelmed with the commercialism and i don't mean the war on christmas. i mean just buying stuff and running around. >> it's fes ae's terrible. >> it takes them away from family and religion and faith. i find it hard sometimes to focus on christmas. >> yeah. >> you're sending out cards. so i think part of it is just carving out time and remembering what's important. what is the meaning for all of this. >> julie, things have changed, haven't they, over the past 30 years? we have become so much more materialistic. our lives have moved so much faster. it seems to me that all faiths
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seem to be under attack. there is not a war on christmas. there is a war on faith overall. >> but i do think, i mean, you know, i was walking down fifth avenue yesterday and every block has the salvation army boys and girls ringing bells and singing carols and hymns and it does, i mean, this time of year does remind us it's time to give back. and that's how a lot of people are locating their joy. you know, i'm living in a place in new orleans right now that was not a place that gave enough i think and, you know, when katrina ripped the city apart people got a civic backbone but also a sort of religious, i mean, there's been a real rise in sort of ministering to some, you know, those who have bethesda naval hospital forgotten in that city and it's been awesome to watch. >> it's a good idea if you have kids. it's not about screaming and how many toys you can get. give them a toy but then go out and have them do something for somebody else too.
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something to pass along. thank you so much for being here, anne, please give our best to your father. >> i will. thank you. >> good luck with the book. it is "heaven god's promise for me." father james martin thank you for being with us. your book "between heaven and mirth." >> we're going to tease what's coming up on monday but i will tell you next friday we're going to bring two rabbis in and sit donny deutsch right in the center and, donny, come on. you don't even know when hannukah starts? what's wrong with you? >> my kids confused me because we're giving them gifts tonight. >> it's your kids' fault. >> so donny doesn't know when hannukah begins and is blaming his 4-year-old. >> just made it worse. >> he always does. >> hannukah is tuesday. >> it's when it's in your heart. >> that's what concerns us about you, donny. >> that's the problem. >> on monday's show -- >> father, help me. >> mitt romney will be here with us in studio. that's monday. don't want to miss this. we'll talk about his game plan. two and a half weeks before the iowa caucuses.
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"morning joe" back in a moment.
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everyone believes in keeping their promises once a year. but we believe in helping people take steps to keep them every single day. that's why every day we help people across the country get into their first homes. prepare for a comfortable retirement and protect the people and things that matter most. at genworth we believe every day is the right day to take a step toward tomorrow.
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welcome back to "morning
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joe." we're still talking about the last segment. two things. talking about billy graham how billy graham, you know, was just a -- donny was saying what is it about billy graham? in the midst of chaos he was a solid rock, julie. never about him. >> he wasn't raising money for the ptl club or jim and tammy faye. none of the guys that came after him had his class or his message. he was a real theologian. >> the preference the presidents paid him. >> he was in the nixon white house almost every other day. >> the other thing is how donny deutsch has to be counseled by some rabbis. we've had good rabbis on before that need to come back. next friday. >> okay. once again i apologize. i am sitting here talking about the tribe and you don't even know when hannukah starts. >> my days were off. to my people, i'm fighting for us. my heart is in the right place. >> really. seriously? >> yes. >> your heart is in the right place.
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your calendar is wrong. let me tell you, my man. you bring up boca you are not welcome back in boca for sometime. >> do not kid yourself down there. i am mr. boca. >> you may not be the messenger they're looking for. nice of you to offer your services. >> the newt gingrich of the tribe. you're the answer. let's get a check on business with cnbc's michelle caruso carera. live at cnbc headquarters, what are we looking at today when the markets open up? >> right now it looks like we'll open higher by roughly 90 points on the dow so after the gain yesterday of 45 points it looks like a couple days in a row of solid gains. >> not bad. >> yeah. >> so what's happening in washington? how is that impacting what's going on, on wall street? are they starting to believe that these guys and women may get responsible by the end of the year? >> so they think about it in a long term, but what wall street really thinks about when it
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comes to the debt ceiling and all of these issues is would the united states ever miss a debt payment, an installment payment on a treasury somewhere? the answer is the way our cash flows work, it would be nearly impossible. i mean, timothy geithner would have to be the worst cash flow manager in the history of the world to miss a debt payment on a treasury. that's what they're really focused on. at this point they see all the back and forth but are far more concerned about the lack of anything getting done in europe for example. you see christine lagarde warning that for the first time we finally see a european leader acknowledging if they don't do something to stop this credit contraction we'll face a great depression in europe and maybe all over the world if they don't get their act together. >> thank you so much. have a great weekend. >> you, too. >> we appreciate it. we'll be back on "morning joe" and we have a lot of things coming up. we'll continue counseling donny. >> he needs our help. >> once again it's what's in
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your heart. >> and again, not once again, that's what concerns us. what's in your heart. it is a black, black heart. we'll be right back. >> not true! ♪ ♪ ♪ mom? dad? guys? [ engine turns over ] [ engine revs ] ♪
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welcome back to "morning joe." willie, christopher hitchins passed away last night. i saw the news break. he was cranky. i love the guy though. >> how could you not love him? battling cancer for a good long time. everyone knew this was coming. but it's still hurting a lot of people who loved him a lot. julie, you spent a lot of time around him and got to know him. >> i adored christopher. i've never seen anybody that nimble. his mind was just astonishing and he did a lot, i mean, he worked on getting dissipated pretty full-time.
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you would watch him at a debate table and he'd have some scotch in this cup and still just slay everybody, you know, in his wake. his wit was indestruct abel. >> in scar grow country days we'd try to pretape him at 5:00 because if he came on at 9:00 things didn't go well especially if he -- but he was always -- >> i never saw him screw up. >> really. you knew him a long time and were just talking about when he was a young man. >> oh, my god. women were kind of passing out in his wake in those days. >>. bad boy. >> do you have a favorite piece of work that christopher did? favorite essay? >> well, there is no way because he was incredibly productive. every single one of them was right on. i mean, he was never -- he and meacham had a famous debate about the existence of god, which as we know christopher --
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he did not write this book. god's promise for -- but christopher buckley said something this morning about how he might not have believed in the idea of a soul but christopher had more soul than anybody i know there is a great line in the "new york times" obituary this morning where he's talking about, hitch ens is talking about his defense of solomon -- he was asked why he defended him. he said if i can phrase it like this it was a matter of everything i hated versus everything i loved and in the hate column dictatorship, religion, stupidity, censorship, bullying and intimidation. in the love column literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. i think that sums it up well. that's out of his own mouth. >> he was extraordinarily loyal to his friends. he really was. >> no doubt about it. >> donny, do you have anything incorrect to say? >> i didn't know him. he was a brilliant writer. did not know him. read his work. so sad. >> brilliant.
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all right. really quickly, your favorite youtube songs i asked at the top of the show. >> we were just bouncing it around. we went to a top three. this is off the top of my head. i went with "i will follow" number one off their debut album. >> a great one. >> pride, in the name of love has to be in every conversation right? 1984. and this is my wild card. angel of harlem. >> there you go. >> love that song. 1988. >> off of the rattling home sound track. >> what do you got? >> my three are, you know, i don't usually have to dig down deep to prove how cool i am. you didn't either. those are three great ones but i am pretty obvious. number one new year's day. it's off of "war." and that's 1983. that was my introduction to them. "walk on" is just unbelievable. from "all you can't leave behind." and number three, "vertigo" which still surprises me. what is fascinating is this band has been playing since 1979,
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1980. i think two of their best songs were written in this century which is pretty crazy. they just keep on going. >> true story i have to duck out. not kidding this is my daughter's hannukah party at her school this morning. true story. >> come on. >> i am not making it up. that's why i'm leaving right now. >> now he's trying to show off. >> i'm sorry. >> he is still throwing his 4-year-old daughter under the bus. >> donny, there's a bulletin. the party is on tuesday. >> coming up next. >> not kidding. >> the best of late night.
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one of the great tragedies of the bush administration. the more successful they've been at intercepting and stopping bad guys the less proof there is that we're in danger. it's almost like they should every once in a while have allowed an attack to get through just to remind us. think about the psychology. >> you know, the craziest thing about that clip is not even gingrich suggesting the occasional terrorist attack, it would be a useful reminder. a post-it note if you will. but that when the audience tends to laugh uncomfortably at his comment his immediate instinct is to go, no, no, no! [ bleep ] serious here.
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i'm nuts. look, republicans, i know you miss the intoxicating high of the early '80s but look in the mirror, man. look where chasing the reagan has led you. listen to your friends. this is an intervention. everyone is here today because they love you. tom, why don't you start us off, tom. >> i'm not inclined to be a supporter of newt gingrich. >> newt gingrich cares about newt gingrich. >> i don't know how he can be considered a conservative. >> i think he does not have the discipline, does not have the capacity to control himself. and he can't stay focused. >> that's who you're going to nom fate for president. can't control himself. can't stay focused. too erratic. those last descriptions are usually followed by the phrase and he is disruptive at nap time and a bit of a biter. nyquil (st uffy
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): hey, tylenol. you know we're kinda like twins. tylenol: we are? nyquil (stuffy): yeah, we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. tylenol: and i relieve nasal congestion. nyquil (stuffy): overachiever. anncr vo: tylenol cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion... nyquil cold & flu doesn't. so i used my citi thank you card to pick up some accessories. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
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welcome back to "morning joe." you know, willie, it's not even really a competition anymore for the worst jew in new york city. donny earned that one

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